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Environment

State Officials To Begin Groundwater Testing in Collier

State officials will begin testing groundwater Tuesday at the site where an oil company used an unauthorized fracking-like drilling method.

Officials at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will test groundwater at the Collier-Hogan well site in Collier County near Lake Trafford.

Back in April, state regulators fined the Dan A. Hughes Company for pumping water, chemicals and sand into the well without authorization in order to extract more oil.

DEP Secretary Herschel Vinyard said during a conference call with reporters that that the process will be expeditious and transparent.

“We have dispatched a team of experts to Collier County to assess the water quality around the Collier-Hogan well,” he said. “The site work is going to continue throughout the week. They will be collecting groundwater samples and also installing monitoring wells in that area.”

DEP officials said the agency will be testing for more than 100 different contaminants.

Collier County Commissioners and DEP were recently in a very public dispute. The county sued the state agency for being secretive about its dealings with the Dan A. Hughes Company. Commissioners also claimed DEP was not effectively enforcing its own laws.

Recently, Collier Commission Chairman Tom Henning accepted a private meeting with DEP officials. Since that meeting, DEP announced its groundwater testing plans and required the Dan A. Hughes Company hold three public meetings in Collier County so residents can ask questions.